Book Review: Moodle Add-ons by @ghenrick and @salvatore

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THUMBNAIL_IMAGEMoodle Add-ons: Extending your Moodle Site with Community Add-ons is a new book by Gavin Henrick and Michael de Raadt which covers a variety of Moodle add-ons that are generally free (with the exception of user costs for some services like Adobe Connect or Big Blue Button) and provide you a way to extend Moodle in amazing ways.

WIRIS

The book starts out with a brief history of the add-on capability in Moodle, which all started with the Workshop module and progresses through a few chapters of tips and tricks for both add-on developers and administrators evaluating add-ons. The later chapters follow with specific examples of add-ons each highlighting a different aspect of Moodle you can extend: Navigation, Resources and Activities, Course Tracking and Interface to name a few. The book is very accessible to those who might have only a little Administrative experience (more so with the ability to install via the browser now in Moodle 2.5) and even the most expert of administrator can glean some very helpful hints from the text about add-ons they haven’t tried out yet.

Chapters 1-3 were the ones that I learned the most from. Gavin and Michael do a great job in highlighting a good add-on evaluation process, including how add-ons are checked at Moodle.org, what you can expect from add-ons listed there and what considerations you should make if someone has made an add-on request at your organization: is it supported still? are there reviews? how often is it downloaded? will it fulfill an unmet need that’s well documented? For developers they do a great job in providing ways to get started with development, tips on creating community and feedback loops for contributed add-ons and documentation which are essential to the end user (I look for and use docs for contributed add-ons regularly and always appreciate a demo site so that I can see the add-on in action before installing).

Each later chapter (4-11) covers a different type of Moodle add-on, I won’t go into specifics but there are quite a few add-ons exhibited in each chapter in very good detail. I found myself jumping around to the add-ons that were most interesting or that I hadn’t tried out yet rather than reading straight through. While not a definitive list of add-ons, this curated list is a great reference to revisit later, especially helpful is the book index which lists each covered in the text.

Overall a solid addition to any administrator’s reference library.

Get your own copy for as low a $9.99 (ebook): http://www.moodleaddons.com/book/